Atopic dermatitis


Dermatitis literally means "inflammation of the skin." There are several different forms of dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, occurs when the skin is abnormally sensitive to allergens, causing the skin to become red, flaky and itchy. This disease is chronic and recurrent. While there currently is no cure for atopic dermatitis, symptoms can be managed with a variety of treatments.
The disease is especially common among young children. Atopic dermatitis often affects individuals who have other atopic diseases like hay fever, asthma, or conjunctivitis (pinkeye).
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), about one percent of all children's visits to doctors is for atopic dermatitis. The disease is estimated to affect 1-10% of infants in the United States. In addition, about 27% of infants whose mothers have allergies develop atopic dermatitis. While atopic dermatitis can be a lifelong disease, it usually goes away by age 25. In fact, about 50% of infants who have eczema before they are one year old have no symptoms by age two.

Related Terms

Allergic dermatitis, cercarial dermatitis, chronic pruritic skin condition, contact dermatitis, dandruff, dermatitis herpetiformis, discoid dermatitis, duck itch, Duhring's disease, dyshidrotic dermatitis, facial erythema, hand and foot dermatitis, ichthyosis vulgaris, keratoconus, keratosis pilaris, nummular dermatitis, papules, pilaris, rash, seborrhoeic dermatitis, skin disorder, swimmer's itch.

other types of dermatitis

Cercarial dermatitis (swimmer's itch or duck itch): Cercarial dermatitis is a short-term immune response to water-born trematode parasites. Symptoms include itchy, raised papules, which usually occur within hours of infection and last about one week.
Contact dermatitis (allergic dermatitis): Contact dermatitis is a term for a skin reaction resulting from exposure to allergens, like dust mites or animal dander.
Dermatitis herpetiformis: Dermatitis herpetiformis, also called Duhring's disease or herpes circinatus bullosus, is usually associated with celiac disease (sensitivity to gluten). It is a chronic, extremely itchy rash that forms papules and vesicles on the skin.
Dyshidrotic dermatitis: Dyshidrotic dermatitis causes small blisters on the hands or feet. It was onced believe that the condition was the result of extreme sweating. However, the cause remains unknown today. While the condition is not contagious it is usually recurrent and chronic.
Nummular dermatitis (discoid dermatitis): Nummular (meaning "coin" in Latin) dermatitis is a recurrent and chronic skin disorder, which may appear at any age. It causes round, coin-shaped itchy lesions on the skin. It does not appear to be a genetic condition. It is not related to food allergies, and it is not contagious. Flare-ups of this condition are linked to dry skin.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis (dandruff): Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a skin disorder that causes scaly, flaky, itchy red skin on the scalp, face and trunk of the body. Researchers believe that the disorder is the result of a fungal infection caused by the yeast Malassezia furfur (formerly known as Pityrosporum ovale) in individuals with decreased immunity and increased sebum production.
Urushiol-induced contact dermatitis (rhus dermatitis): Urushiol-induced contact dermatitis is the medical term for skin rashes that are caused by urushiol oil. The oil is present in many plants, including plants of the genus Toxicodendron (like poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak), as well as other plants in the Anacardiaceae family (like mango, the Rengas tree and the Burmese lacquer tree).